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Player Interview: Ulster Rugby Lad meets… Luke Marshall

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Images from UlsterRugbyLad
Peter Lockhart from UlsterRugbyLad recently sat down with Ulster & Ireland Centre, Luke Marshall.

‘You’ve got to be realistic. When you play rugby, your career can end at anytime’

Ulster fan favourite, Luke Marshall certainly hit the ground running on his return from long-term injury this season.

The dynamic centre has faced no shortage of challenges in his career – from his well-documented series of concussions to a torn ACL in the last game of the 2017-2018 season.

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Marshall made his return to action as a replacement for Darren Cave in Ulster’s pulsating 21-18 European quarter-final defeat in Dublin. Two minutes after coming onto the field Marshall bulldozed his way over the whitewash.

His impressive impact at the tail-end of Ulster’s season was due in no small part to Marshall’s resilience – apart from the usual rehab, Marshall dedicated himself to improving his skills and doing everything possible to return to match action as sharp as possible.

Here, Ulster’s inspirational fan favourite, Luke Marshall, chats to Ulster Rugby Lad about what made him the player he has become.

Who or what made you passionate about rugby?

My dad and my two brothers played rugby before me so it was in the family and my dad also coached. I suppose I really just wanted to follow in their footsteps.

Who was your biggest influence growing up (both in rugby and outside rugby)?

Again, my family and more specifically my dad. They were always so supportive and they gave me a lot of the inspiration needed to pursue a career in rugby.

When did you first think you had a chance of making it as a professional rugby player?

Probably not really until I got into the Ulster Academy, up to that point I thought it was just an unrealistic pipe dream!

What is the best advice you have been given?

Hard work beats talent.

What would you tell your 17-year-old self?

Work harder in school.

What would you be doing if you didn’t play for Ulster?

I don’t even want to think about that!

What’s the best and worst thing about being a professional rugby player?

Getting paid to do your favourite hobby is the best thing. The worst thing is how sore your body is after a game.

Career highlight/lowlight?

My highlight was winning the Ballyclare mini rugby tournament when I was in p5.

My low point was missing the last kick of the game to lose against Methody in the schools cup semi-final.

When you think of the word ‘successful’ who’s the first person who comes to mind and why?

Tiger Woods – he absolutely dominated his sport and totally changed the game.

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What is something you believe that other people would find strange or disagree with?

I prefer dogs to people.

What is your favourite documentary or movie?

Would have to be Braveheart or Gladiator.

What do the first 60 minutes of your day look like? Any daily rituals?

Spending time with my dogs and maybe having a cup of coffee to get me going.

What obsessions do you explore in your free time?

Walking my dogs and trying to find new places to walk them.

What topic would you speak about if you were asked to give a TED talk on something outside of rugby?

Animals.

What is the best/ most worthwhile purchase/investment you’ve made?

My boat.

Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often?

Everything happens for a reason.

What is the worst advice you see or hear being dispensed in the rugby world?

Never believe what is said about you whether good or bad.

How has a failure, or apparent failure set you up for a later success?

All of my injuries have led to something better and have made a stronger as an individual.

What have you changed your mind about in the past few years? Why?

Letting my wife do work to the house, she has finally got her way!

What are your plans post rugby?

Hopefully moving out to the countryside and leading a more quiet existent with a steady job.

Thanks Luke!

Images & Content from Ulster Rugby Lad


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Squad Update | Team News Ahead Of Zebre At Musgrave Park

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The Munster squad returned to training at the HPC today (Tuesday) ahead of Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship round 3 game against Zebre at Musgrave Park (5.05pm).

Buy match tickets here.

Nine Munster players are in Bloemfontein with Emerging Ireland: Thomas Ahern, Diarmuid Barron, Jack Crowley, Shane Daly, Antoine Frisch, John Hodnett, Calvin Nash, Roman Salanoa and Josh Wycherley.

As confirmed by the IRFU at the weekend, Alex Kendellen has been ruled out of the Emerging Ireland tour and will complete his return-to-play protocols.

Injury Update in association with Laya Healthcare

Jean Kleyn sustained a concussion against Dragons on Sunday and will follow the graduated return-to-play protocols.

Peter O’Mahony (ankle) is expected to return to training later this week.

Keith Earls was removed with a suspected hamstring injury. He will be further assessed by the medical team this week.

In a positive update, Rory Scannell (nose) will return to squad training this week.

Unavailable: Gavin Coombes (groin), RG Snyman (knee), Jack Daly (knee), Andrew Conway (knee).

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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Additional terracing confirmed for October interpros

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Following huge demand for tickets, Connacht Rugby can confirm that temporary terracing will be installed for both BKT United Rugby Championship interpros against Munster and Leinster next month.

The game against Munster on Friday 7th October is set to be a momentous occasion as the club plays its first fixture on the new state-of-the-art, artificial surface.

Just seven days later neighbours Leinster visit the West of Ireland, in what will be another crucial game in the context of the overall season.

The terraces will be located at the Bohermore and College Road ends of the ground, bringing the capacity of The Sportsground up to 8,129.

Tickets for both games are on sale now at connachtrugby.ie/tickets, and supporters are urged to act quickly to avoid disappointment.

We are also now offering our fans a special October Interpros bundle. This bundle will guarantee your place in The Sportsground for these can’t-miss October games.

Images & Content from – Connacht Rugby


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URC

Academy Update | September 2022

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We spoke to Greencore Munster Rugby Academy Manager Ian Costello last week for the first update of the new season from the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy.

New recruits Fionn Gibbons, Darragh McSweeney, Evan O’Connell, Jack Oliver, Ruadhan Quinn and Kieran Ryan have all hit the ground running and seen game-time at various levels over the past number of weeks.

19-year-old second year Academy member and UCC clubman Edwin Edogbo made his senior debut against Dragons on Sunday becoming the first Cobh Pirates player to line out for Munster in the professional era. Edwin missed all of last year due to an achilles injury but impressed in pre-season and was rewarded with a debut in Wales.

Hear the latest from Costello below.

Munster A v Connacht A last week…

“It was a good run-out. They had played a game the week before and our game against Ulster had been cancelled so they were a bit more clinical.

“We dominated possession and territory but they were more accurate, we were a little bit rusty at key times but it was a good exercise overall.”

New recruits…

“Kieran Ryan and Darragh McSweeney, the two props, are getting on really well. Ruadhan Quinn obviously hit the ground running with 78 minutes against Gloucester in pre-season, which was great for him to get a senior run-out. Evan O’Connell was released back to the Munster U19s and he played the Interpros with them and they won two out of three.

“Jack Oliver played his first game for Munster in a long time against Connacht A and he had a club run-out with Garryowen the week before. It was his first time playing in seven months so it was great to have him back as well. Fionn Gibbons had his first run-out since joining us against Connacht too.”

Academy players Tony Butler, Edwin Edogbo, Cian Hurley, Daniel Okeke, Conor Phillips getting game-time in pre-season games…

“It’s fantastic. And to have so many players away with Emerging Ireland now, it gives our lads the chance to push for a squad spot in the URC for the next three games.

“We’ll be stretched a bit at senior level with the 10 guys selected for Emerging Ireland so we’d be hopeful there will be a couple of Academy players in the mix over the next couple of weeks and anyone who isn’t in the mix will be playing with their club.

“On the injury front, Patrick Campbell (toe) was injured with the Ireland U20s over the summer and he’s a couple of weeks away.

“Daniel Okeke tweaked his hamstring in the A game last weekend so hopefully he won’t be out for too long.”

AIL season kicking off this weekend…

“The players will all go back to their clubs this week and hopefully the majority of the lads will be playing in AIL round one, if they’re not involved in the URC.

“We have been drip-feeding the lads back with their clubs so a number of guys have been training with their clubs over the last few Tuesdays so we try to keep them connected to their club as much as possible.”

Summer training camps for underage sides…

“We had a residential camp in UL over the summer. We put a lot of time, effort and resources into a three-week residential camp. We brought 15 under-20 players to train with the U19s. The U20s don’t have an Interprovincial tournament so they’re essentially the guys we’re looking at to move onto the next level. Guys like Daniel Hurley trained with them, he’s back from a cruciate injury, Shay McCarthy who had gone away with the Ireland U20s…these are the kind of guys we’re looking at long-term as well.

“We brought that group of 15 to train with 30 U19s so that was class. Off the back of those training camps, the Munster U18s won the Interpros, the U19s won two out of three so there’s a lot of good players emerging out of that and it was good to validate it with winning an Interpro as well.”

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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